Like roses on a Piano…

Everybody likes J.S. Bach I’m sure. His music is some of the most inventive and accessible classical music known to humanity. Golly, I mean… Well-Tempered Clavier anybody? It’s as if Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man had been put to music!

Incidentally — there are recordings of The Well-Tempered Clavier that are done on a standard piano. How vile! I expect an album with clavier in the title to be done on a clavier. Aren’t pianos merely for Romantic losers? Er… that is… what I’m trying to say is that these pieces were written for an instrument with a sharper, more abrasive tone. A piano is too smooth, clear and vibrant.

Now Mr. Bach was a very prolific individual. He wrote and conducted new music at church every week (like, he wrote a new piece or five every week!) in addition to his handsome canon of concertos and so forth. He was, “a real cool daddy” as they say. I mean that literally, for he had about 20 kids or so. As one of my music teachers pointed out, “there were two things he liked to do…”. Ahahaha! Gross!

I’ve had recordings of his organ concertos(performed by Simon Preston) queued up as of late. Stuff is so good! It was written before the sonata form was invented or perfected, so you never know where it’s gonna go. Super-duper prog, baby! The best moments are when the music gets melancholy, ’cause Bach was one of the masters of musical depression (he’s one of the masters, period). Some of these tunes evoke the sensation of tears being shed in a cathedral more than anything else in the universe. The stuff totally sounds like the experience of crying in an ancient temple. It is sorcery! Sorcery, I say!

The compositional modulation in these pieces is so freaking beautiful. The man was never content to rest. (Whenever there is a section of rapidly moving chord modulations, particularly chromatically downwards, I start to think about intense montages of Dracula playing his harpsichord as vampire hunters encroach upon his throne room). This is no surprise, for western academic “classical” music is replete with this sort of perpetually moving junk. The only times I’ve really heard old-school guys stay in a key without modulation are… I don’t know, some of Vivaldi’s random experimental pieces???

But let me point out that I’m not a scholar, an academic or even a person of above-average intellect. I don’t want you arriving at the far-fetched conclusion that you actually learned something on my blog. If anything you shouldn’t believe a word I say. But then again, this organ concerto stuff is so off the hook! When it gets going it is absolutely prance-worthy.

Simon Preston (J.S. Bach) – Organ Concerto in A Minor, BWV 593 – 2 Adagio
Simon Preston (J.S. Bach) – Organ Concerto in A Minor, BMW 593 – 3 Allegro

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*As per usual, anyone who has a problem with these MP3s being up, just let me know and I’ll remove them.

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on August 13, 2008.

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